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The International Program – Fulbright Fellows

February 9, 2006

Guests:

Foreign Fulbright Fellows

By invitation of the U.S. Department of State’s Institute of International Education, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton met with a group of Fulbright Fellows* to discuss the activities of the educational foundation and non-governmental watchdog group he oversees—the mission of which is to promote a return to ethics, transparency, and accountability in the government, law, and the judiciary. The Fulbright Fellows in attendance hailed from Burkina Faso, Denmark, France, Germany, Romania, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Pakistan, Bolivia, and Jamaica—a truly cosmopolitan sampling of bright, prospective community leaders—all who spoke impeccable English. A diversity of American colleges and universities were also well represented by these international students, to include: MIT, Kent State, Emory, Yale, Juniata and Marist Colleges, the Stevens Institute of Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, State University of New York, University of Minnesota at Twin Cities, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Judicial Watch’s director of litigation, Paul Orfanedes, and expert trial counsel, Mike Hurley, joined the discussion, which focused on the creative application of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other sunshine laws in obtaining documents from federal and state agencies. The National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG) lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, which saw the release of maps of Iraqi Oil Fields used by the Cheney Task Force in its formulation of energy policy prior to America’s engagement in Iraq, was chosen to illustrate the type of documents that can be obtained from high-level government officials through use of the FOIA.

Mr. Fitton’s presentation focused on the sine qua non of good government: transparency and openness. Transparency in government is the key to holding elected officials accountable—and the best antidote for corruption and malfeasance by those who hold a public trust.

*The

Fulbright Program aims to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs, and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship." – J. William Fulbright
In 1945, Senator J. William Fulbright introduced a bill in the United States Congress that called for the use of proceeds from the sale of surplus war property to fund the "promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science." On August 1, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law, and Congress created the Fulbright Program.

http://www.fulbrightonline.org, The Institute of International Education, Inc. (“IIE”), Programs Portal, Fulbright Program, “About Fulbright,” copyright 1996-2006 (February 16, 2006).

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